All charges have been dismissed against two Marines accused in the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha, the Marine Corps announced Thursday.Let me repeat this fact, no one, has been convicted of any crime, although as indicated charges are pending against 2 Marines. Originally 4 enlisted Marines were charged. Two remain in custody pending the outcome of Courts Marshall proceedings, 1 has had all charges dropped on the recommendation of investigators and 1 has had charges dropped in exchange for testimony against the remaining 2. In addition, 4 officers were originally charged with failure to investigate of which 1 has now had charges dropped.
Lance Cpl. Justin L. Sharratt, 22, of Canonsburg, Pa., was charged with murdering three brothers. Capt. Randy Stone, 35, a battalion lawyer from Dunkirk, Md., was charged with failing to adequately report and investigate the Nov. 19, 2005, combat action in which women and children were among the dead.
Now let's go to the way-back machine. Here is what Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) said in a Press Release dated May 18, 2006 (Murtha press conference transcript on Iraq).
...on November 19th, we had an incident in Haditha in Anbar province, where a Marine was killed with an IED. Time magazine reported it, and it's kind of a puzzling report, because they're investigating it right now. Let me tell you what the consequences of this have been.Over a year ago, Judge Murtha convicted all the Marines of killing innocent civilians in cold blood. Congressman Murtha served in the Marine Corps, is a member of Congress and still does not believe in a Basic Constitutional Concept, "YOU ARE INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY". This is the same Representative John Murtha who was an unindited co-conspirator in the Congressional Abscam bribery scandal.
It's much worse than reported in Time magazine. There was no fire fight. There was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood. And that's what the report is going to tell. [emphasis mine]
Now will he do the honorable thing. As the title says, I'm not holding my breath.
Update: AJ Strata at Strata-Sphere agrees.
So does Jim Addison at Whizbang.